How many bodybuilders out there think “push, push, push”? Many of us think that we will strive for our desired physique and cross the proverbial health bridge when that time comes. We have the rest of our lives to focus on our health anyways right? Not if we aren’t around when that time comes!
Bodybuilders (generalization) wear the “hardcore” title as a badge of honor. Who can push things to the most extreme measures?
This is not a lecture article where I will tell you that the things you are doing are horrible for your health and you will die! Rather, this is geared (no pun intended) more towards living a healthier lifestyle while complementing the things you already do. At the end of the day we are going to do what we are going to do, but if you take the proper steps and precautions we can do it safer and healthier.
It’s important to incorporate a variety of foods to make sure we are not just hitting your macro needs, but also your micro needs.
Here are some things to keep in mind when constructing your diet with health and performance in mind:
Correct Ratio of Fats: Bodybuilding diets usually have a major emphasis on fats…. leave them alone. This is especially the case for saturated fats. Saturated fats help with omega 3s in the body. Immune system function relies heavily on saturated fats to run efficiently. If you leave these crucial macros out of your diet, you are doing yourself a major disservice. Healthy fats are also vital in ensuring that the correct ratios of good to bad cholesterol are in check.
Animals and Animal Byproducts that are Fed Their Natural Diets: Pretty self-explanatory when you think about it. Animals that are fed what nature intended that they eat are much healthier, leaner, and safer. Antibiotic free meat is also much better for our bodies as we ingest much of what the animals ingests. Healthy animal byproducts that are important to watch for would include many dairy products.
Liver Health: Liver health is obviously very important to overall health in the body. However, it’s also very important for performance in the gym and overall fat burning ability. An unhealthy liver tends to make the body hold excess water by the inability to breakdown aldosterone.
Glucose Disposal: Glucose disposal aids, like Redcon1 RPG, helps with nutrient partitioning by ensuring that glucose is stored as muscle glycogen as opposed to body fat tissue.
On top of the foods we consume, we need to supplement with the right products. Food is obviously the main focal point for any bodybuilder, whether that is for health or just for performance. Food will only get you so far when it comes to both of these things, so we need to supplement wisely to reach our goals.
As important as it is to supplement with the right products, it’s also just as important to limit the things we consume that do not benefit our health. Stimulants are great for getting up for a big workout, but they can also be detrimental over time to our health. Adrenal fatigue is a term that refers basically to running your adrenal glands into the ground. Stimulant abuse over time can lead to adrenal fatigue, showings symptoms such as lethargy, fatigue, and mental drain. It’s a good idea to take some time away from stimulants and cycle them in and out.
Keeping hormones at healthy ranges is very important to overall health and performance. More is not always better (long term anyways). Get blood work done regularly and ensure that everything is within a healthy range.
Here is a list of supplements that not only will benefit performance in the gym and physique benefits, but also support health needs.
Vitamin D3: Ole faithful when it comes to health supplements. The benefits of vitamin D3 are endless, but there are a few that are crucial to health. Vitamin D3 has a direct correlation to bone strength and calcium deposition in bones. Vitamin D3 deficiency can lead to weakened bones, which can lead to a host of other issues.
Vitamin D3 deficiency has actually been linked to muscle weakening and atrophy as well. While this is important for those that have lifting goals, this is also important for overall health. Cardiovascular health is also improved with supplementing with D3.
Vitamin C: This vitamin is like the (insert most famous celebrity) of all vitamins. Vitamin C is probably the most talked about vitamin, and for good reason. Vitamin C is unparalleled when it comes to immune health and fighting off infections. This vitamin is water soluble and essential for human function. Vitamin C is responsible for tissue growth, regeneration, and repair. It is also responsible for producing collagen, which is used to make new skin cells, blood vessels, tendons, and scar tissue. Of all the vitamins, it probably has the most roles in the body.
Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, and B12: The B vitamins, otherwise known as the “do it all” vitamins. Most celebrated for having a lot to do with the energy we are able to expend. With energy being at the forefront, metabolic processes in the body rely heavily on the presence of B vitamins. B vitamins, specifically B12, have been shown to improve cognition, essentially boosting brain activity and focus. All B vitamins aid in the conversion of food to energy production.
Omega 3: The brains of this operation, omega 3 fatty acids are key in cognitive function in the brain. We already discussed the importance of getting these in the foods we consume, but it’s very beneficial to supplement as well. This essential fatty acid is responsible for brain function, cell repair, and most importantly cardiovascular health. This healthy fat is essential in maintaining (and even getting to) healthy cholesterol levels. Omegas 3s have been shown to raise HDL (good cholesterol) while lowering harmful triglycerides.
Omega 3 fatty acids also aid in removing joint inflammation and help with joint integrity. This natural anti-inflammatory can help those that take over the counter anti-inflammatories.
N-Acetyl L-Cysteine: Otherwise known as NAC, is a powerful antioxidant that has many health benefits. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals in the body and boost immune function. NAC is also a precursor to glutathione and helps in the production of this amino acid. NAC’s potential main benefit is that it helps to protect the liver. Another product to take in combination with NAC to help liver function is milk thistle.
CoQ10: Another antioxidant, this time helping to protect the heart. CoQ10 has been shown to help with heart disease, blood pressure, and headaches. This antioxidant is naturally found within the body, but supplementing may have some health benefits as well, especially in the area of helping with blood pressure.
Curcumin: This product helps with inflammation and pain relieving. It also works as a mild blood thinner that helps to strengthen the arterial walls. New research shows that curcumin is also anti-catabolic, insulin sensitizing, and helps to lower estrogen. All of these are great news for bodybuilders.
Beta Sitosterol: This should be a staple in all men’s lives, especially for those who body build or take physique building seriously. Beta sitosterol helps with healthy prostate function and can help to reduce swelling. It is also a 5-alpha-reductase, meaning that it prevents the conversion of testosterone to DHT. Essentially this product helps to naturally keep testosterone in a healthy range.
Redcon1 Med+Kit contains all of the above ingredients in one easy to take product. Not only is it a great alternative to having to take a million pills, it’s much more cost effective.
We all want to look our best, and many of us are willing to do whatever it takes to reach that point. With that in mind, make sure we are also taking a focused approach to your health just as you are to bodybuilding and fitness goals so you can enjoy this ride as long as you can!